What is going on with today’s young children? Actually what is going on with their PARENTS?
Everyone is rushing everywhere, running here and there, and in the middle of all of this rushing, I think manners have been lost along the way. I am a stickler for manners. They are so important to me. I was raised to say please and to say thank you, and I have raised my daughters in the same manner. That is…GOOD MANNERS.
It must be me. Really, it has to be. I am constantly amazed by the lack of manners children have today. Just last weekend I was helping out at a large community event. My daughters were distributing chalk to children and I was walking around with them. Very few said thank you. And most of their parents were standing right there, with them. Next to them. Some encouraged their child, to say thank you, but just as many stood there, saying nothing. Watching their child say nothing.
I am constantly reminding my children to use their manners. Whether it’s dropping off for a playdate, entering a room full of people, or just visiting grandparents, I remind them. “Please,” “thank you,” and “no thank you” are staples in our house.
But it’s more than that. I have tried to instill kindness and respect for themselves and one another. And I think this is just as important as saying the words. Showing how to be kind. Writing a thank you note. Sharing a toy. Giving a hug. Saying nice things to one another. To me, manners mean you respect yourself and you respect the person you are with.
Do Unto Others as You Would Have Done To You, to paraphrase from the Bible. Isn’t this The Golden Rule? I did not see this today in Starbucks as the woman in front of us let the door close on our faces.
Amazon.com lists over 30,000 books with the word “manners” in the title. Books for adults and books for children. From Miss Manners Guide to Excruciating Correct Behavior to my friend Mary‘s children’s book Merrilee Mannerly and her Magnificent Manners, there are literally thousands of how-to books on good manners. So people are writing about this very subject…but are enough people listening?
And really, why don’t children have manners? Are we, the adults, teaching them and leading by example?